State employee overtime spending is on pace to exceed $237 million this fiscal year, the third highest level in history.
The non-partisan Office of Fiscal Analysis' latest quarterly report shows the state spent approximately $178.2 million on overtime through the first three quarters of fiscal 2018.
That's a 12% jump over the same period of the previous fiscal year, when total overtime spending fell to a six-year low of $204.4 million.
CBIA economist Pete Gioia called the failure to control state overtime spending "a significant and alarming trend."
"Connecticut's facing a $240 million-plus deficit for this year and this surge in overtime spending will further blow that out," he said.
"And because overtime is allowed as a factor in calculating state employee pensions, the failure to curb spending further drives up the state's long-term liabilities."
Spent $63 Million in Third Quarter
Overtime spending declined in both 2016 and 2017 after hitting an all-time high of $256.1 million in 2015.
State agencies spent $63 million on overtime in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, matching the year's first quarter outlay.
Five state agencies accounted for over 93% of all overtime spending. All five saw spending increases through the first three quarters.
At $8.9 million, the Department of Correction saw the biggest jump in dollar terms, while overtime costs rose 28% at the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.
|Department||FY 2018 Overtime*||FY 2017 Overtime*||$ Difference||% Difference|
|Correction||$56.56 million||$47.61 million||$8.95 million||15.8%|
|Mental Health & Addiction Services||$41.82 million||$36.99 million||$4.83 million||11.6%|
|Developmental Services||$34.88 million||$33.75 million||$1.13 million||3.3%|
|Children & Families||$17.3 million||$16.04 million||$1.25 million||7.3%|
|Emergency Services & Public Protection||$16.23 million||$11.7 million||$4.52 million||27.9%|
Outside the top five, all remaining agencies spent $11.35 million on overtime through the first three quarters, a 7.6% increase over the same period last year.
Spending rose for the first three quarters of the fiscal year despite 367 fewer state employees claiming overtime.
Overall, 16,323 state employees claimed overtime at an average $10,915 per employee.
DMHAS employees had the highest average payout through the first nine months, with 2,243 workers averaging $18,648 in overtime.
One Connecticut State Library employee has collected $18,234 in overtime so far this year.
Gioia said that while state government has reduced the number of full-time employees in recent years, greater efforts are needed to control overtime spending.